The second-half was all about defense for Cincinnati, as they forced the Giants into four second-half turnovers, which the Bengals converted into 14 points. The first of which came on the Giants’ third drive of the half when Geno Atkins pressured Eli Manning into throwing up a duck that was picked off by Pat Sims at the NYG-12 yard line. The Bengals scored three plays later after Jermaine Gresham hauled in a 10-yard touchdown on third-down over Antrel Rolle (remember him) to put the Bengals up 24-6.
The next drive saw the Giants facing a 3rd-and-5 from their own 23, and Manning tried to force a pass to Martellus Bennett that was intercepted by Nate Clements and taken to the NYG-16. Three plays later, Dalton hit rookie WR Mohamed Sanu for a 10-yard TD, giving Dalton a career-high four TDs, and Sanu his first career TD reception.
It was the final Bengals score of the day, as the defense was still ready to tee-off of the Giants’ struggling offense. The secondary blanked the Giants’ receivers and shut down 2-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning, holding him to just 29/46 passing for 215 yards and no touchdowns while picking him off twice. According to Elias Sports, after last weeks loss to the Steelers, today’s performance made it Manning’s second time in his career he’s had a Total QBR of 20 or below in consecutive weeks.
The Giants didn’t score their first touchdown until there was 2:46 remaining in the fourth-quarter, and it was on a 98-yard drive highlighted by several long runs while the Bengals were in a prevent defense. It was nothing short of a dominating performance on both sides of the ball, and the Bengals have turned what looked like a lost season into noe that now has promise and potential to help build a strong foundation for what looks like a bright future.
The Bengals return to action next week as they head to Kansas City to take on the struggling Chiefs, who sit at 1-7 and haven’t won since Week 3.